Newton Antiphonies (2008) for two or more trumpets was composed for the First Unitarian Society in
Newton, Massachusetts on the occasion of its 160th anniversary in November 2008.
The score of the work consists of seven "cells", each with a different tempo. It is important that the distinct
tempo and character of each cell be observed. Other than "starting points" (as described below), no
rhythmic coordination between the performers should be attempted in any way.
A performance should begin with the first trumpet playing cell #1. When he reaches the point in the cell
marked with an asterisk (*), the second player begins playing cell #1. Once the first player has finished cell
#1, after a brief pause, he may choose any one of the other six cells to play next. When the second player
has reached the point in cell #1 marked by the asterisk, the third player begins cell #1, continuing after a
pause to whichever cell he has chosen next. This thus continues in this same manner for each trumpet.
Ideally, the piece will last between 2 and 5 minutes, although if there are an exceptionally large number of
trumpets used, it may be longer.
Each player thus always begins with cell #1 and after finishing it, plays the remaining cells in any order he
chooses, not repeating any and pausing briefly between each one. Once finished with playing all seven, the
When only one player (the "last" player) is left playing his final cell (and ideally at the point marked with the
asterisk in whichever cell he is playing), the first trumpet should begin playing cell #7 again. Thus, the first
player will always end the piece "alone" with cell #7, which is the only repetition of a cell that occurs in the
context of performance.
The composer recommends between 4 and 6 trumpets for an ideal performance, however any number (two
or more) is acceptable. It is also strongly requested that the trumpets surround the audience antiphonally.
The work may be performed on any matched trumpets (i.e., do not mix C and Bb instruments).